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The Imp Of The Perverse

(149 Posts)
MissAdventure Thu 06-Feb-20 15:54:01

Have you experienced, or heard of this?

It's an urge to do something you never ever would, such as stepping in front of a car, or shouting at an inappropriate time, or anything, really.

Apparently its named after something in an Edgar Allan Poe writing.

I often have the impulse to pull the hair of whoever is sitting in front of me on the bus blush

AGAA4 Thu 06-Feb-20 15:57:47

Must remember not to sit in front of you on a bus MissAdventure! But I have to admit to having mischievous thoughts, even at my age

MissAdventure Thu 06-Feb-20 15:59:25


Namsnanny Thu 06-Feb-20 16:00:25

Well a common one I have is jumping off a cliff or high place, is that the same?

MissAdventure Thu 06-Feb-20 16:02:16

Yes, exactly that, Namsnanny

That's a common one, along with stepping in front of a train.

Lyndiloo Thu 06-Feb-20 16:08:34

If I see a person slouching around with their shoulders all rounded and sloppy, I always have the urge to slap them between the shoulder-blades and say sternly, 'Straighten your back!' (A legacy from my dear mum.) smile

BlueSky Thu 06-Feb-20 16:12:09

Never heard of this, as they say you are never too old to learn something new! No never anything as extreme. I have been tempted many times to tell people exactly what I thought of them, but as it was in the workplace, it wouldn't have been in my best interest to do so!

MissAdventure Thu 06-Feb-20 16:12:52

I sometimes want to shout at people (on the bus, again!) or touch bottoms that are in close range.

I probably should be banned from buses

M0nica Thu 06-Feb-20 16:14:50

Pushing someone when I know they would go over a cliff or edge. I would never actually do it, it is just an intrusive thought.

MissAdventure Thu 06-Feb-20 16:17:01

Isn't it a strange phenomena.
We're all going about our business, fleeting thinking about unforgivable things occasionally. smile

Greymar Thu 06-Feb-20 16:17:03

Leaving notes in books I donate.

craftergran Thu 06-Feb-20 16:20:48

Oh yes, stabbing someone with a large kitchen knife when I'm doing the washing up. I never use the large knives as I am scared of them and use my little paring knife for all kitchen jobs but DH uses the large ones.
I never like to leave them lying around and they get washed and put straight into the drawer but whilst drying them I have those imp thoughts!!

MissAdventure Thu 06-Feb-20 16:26:55

I'm very very afraid of heights, and I think a little part of it is that "what if...." thought.

Sara65 Thu 06-Feb-20 16:33:54

Oh yes, my earliest memory of this was being sent to the co-op for a pint of milk, and having an almost unbearable urge to smash it on the path. I would have been in a heap of trouble had I succumbed!

ninathenana Thu 06-Feb-20 16:40:54

Snatch the phone of the person pushing the buggy or stepping out in front of cars whilst staring at it.

DoraMarr Thu 06-Feb-20 16:42:42

Oh yes- I certainly do, and I have done it! At school I threw a currant at a prefect and it got stuck in her hair. I didn’t know what came over me, but it was awful! And a friend of mine, who I was sitting next to, had a lighter in her pencil case (I don’t know why.) She suddenly leaned forward and set fire to the end of the pigtail of the girl in front of us. We went to a very strict convent school, but somehow that just made us naughtier.
One of my friends, a very prim and proper lady normally, was waiting to cross the road when Boris Johnson’s motorcade swept past. She yelled “wanker!” As she said later, she had never used that word in her life.

Auntieflo Thu 06-Feb-20 16:47:07

Every morning, at my all girls school, we had an assembly. Our head girl was rather rotund, and if ever she had to bend down, for some reason or other, I had an urge to shout out 'bum'.
Of course, being a ' laydee', I didn't. 😇

Curlywhirly Thu 06-Feb-20 16:48:50

Well I'm so relieved it's not just me! It's happened many times - temptation to jump off a cliff or a bridge; shout in church; pick fluff of a stranger's coat; tell someone a secret that I have promised to keep. Glad to say though, I have never succumbed to any of them!

Eglantine21 Thu 06-Feb-20 16:51:14

I was very cross with my lover once and almost, almost keyed his car........

rosenoir Thu 06-Feb-20 17:22:51

I have the jumping off a cliff thing, I keep away from high places.

I know somebody that has cute aggression, a recognised condition that makes you want to squeeze small animals.

chloe1984 Thu 06-Feb-20 17:24:11

Crafergran Every time I pick up a knife large or small I get an urge to stab myself in the abdomen.

MissAdventure Thu 06-Feb-20 17:46:15

It's a short story by Poe..

TwiceAsNice Thu 06-Feb-20 17:49:20

It’s obsessive intrusive thinking . It’s a form of OCD. There’s plenty of books about it and how to control it

MissAdventure Thu 06-Feb-20 17:53:02

I rather enjoy the frisson of excitement and dread, but then I lead a very boring life.

Its not a problem for me.

annodomini Thu 06-Feb-20 17:56:38

I'm sure it has happened more than once, but in primary school, I had the sudden impulse to break my ruler over the head of my friend who sat in front of me. She had never done me any harm. Naturally, I got the belt and knew I deserved it. I seem to remember also flicking a rubber in the direction of the teacher. Fortunately she didn't notice.
I have never had the impulse to throw myself off a high tower or cliff!